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Old 01-24-2013, 12:13 AM
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Default Ferro rods and mag blocks help....



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So, I took my 9year old son out to the garage and showed him my GHB and went through it's contents and explained what everything is used for. We got to the fire starting kit I have and being a boy, was fascinated by the fire starting gear, of course. I pulled out the vasoline/cotton ball kit and my cheapo Coleman mag block and firesteel. I demonstrated how it worked and he was fascinated. He wanted to give it a try so I showed him how to spread out the cotton ball to give it more surface area. Showed him hoe to scrape the mag block and then use a small metal object to strike the ferro rod attached to the side of the mag block. Well, as you cam imagine, the cheap Coleman mag block is hard for him to scrape efficiently as the ferro rod is too.

Question. Do tue bigger diameter ferro rods in the 3/8" x 4" strike easier and do the mag blocks come in better / softer quality? I am set on using mag blocks and ferro rods to start my fires while incorporating vaso/cotton balls too. Are the products at firesteel.com the way to go. I want to get 3-4 setups to include a larger ferro rod, striker and rectangular mag block. I don't mind ape ing the extra money at about $30 for each set but wanted your opinion first. Sorry for the long post but thank you.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:25 AM
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If I was to get anymore fire steels the 3/8 x 4" would be my choice. Get a good scraper. Tungsten Carbide works nice. The curved tooth from a piranha skill saw blade cut and repositioned on a longer handle.
Old 01-24-2013, 12:37 AM
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Iv tried em all, Best iv used is Firesteel.com the gobspark owns.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:10 AM
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Not a block, but very soft rod of magnesium, a very good ferro rod, and an attached scraper/striker that works great on both.

www.allweatherfirestarters.com

I've bought several and they all work great.

Just my opinion.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:44 AM
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A piece of a hacksaw blade will get a good spark for even a complete newby. It will also wear down the rod faster but that's the secret to big sparks.

Also: move the ferro rod not the striker. Better control of the spark.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:57 AM
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Blast match works very well.

http://youtu.be/CYRKzdSXH34
Old 01-24-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone View Post
Iv tried em all, Best iv used is Firesteel.com the gobspark owns.
I love those!! Sooo easy to use and never fails rain or shine
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:43 PM
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Ditch the magnesium for dryer lint. No annoying scraping and it weighs far less. Just pinch off a small piece and fluff it. Place it in your tinder bundle, and hit it with a spark. Very reliable flame.
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:41 AM
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Misch, Misch, Misch! It will light just about anything

Including chesthairs! LOL I was playing around with some tinder combinations and was using a stainless steel
bowl to catch the sparks. I scraped my ESEE Fire Kit (the 2nd Generation that came with a Misch rod) and the
sparks danced up the sides of the bowl and landed on my chest. I felt the little burn, but paid it no mind.

My wife saw my chest and yelled (my name) at me. I said 'what'? She said 'I'm afraid to ask, what were you doing?
Were you playing with fire again?' I felt like a 5 year old getting scolded by a parent. I said "No!" (just like a 5 year
old or a politician would lie). She said 'then what's that!' And pointed to various sections on my chest where the Misch
landed. BUSTED!

It's like built in Mag scrapings. They don't last as long as ferro rods, but they last long enough. As stated before, my
Pathfinder ferro rod is pretty awesome too. It's an obvious generic run of the mill rod, but I've got to say it's come
through for me when I've played with fire.
Old 01-29-2013, 06:45 AM
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http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...ighlight=doans

http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...ighlight=doans

http://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...ighlight=doans
Old 01-29-2013, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Blzn View Post
So, I took my 9year old son out to the garage and showed him my GHB and went through it's contents and explained what everything is used for. We got to the fire starting kit I have and being a boy, was fascinated by the fire starting gear, of course. I pulled out the vasoline/cotton ball kit and my cheapo Coleman mag block and firesteel. I demonstrated how it worked and he was fascinated. He wanted to give it a try so I showed him how to spread out the cotton ball to give it more surface area. Showed him hoe to scrape the mag block and then use a small metal object to strike the ferro rod attached to the side of the mag block. Well, as you cam imagine, the cheap Coleman mag block is hard for him to scrape efficiently as the ferro rod is too.

Question. Do tue bigger diameter ferro rods in the 3/8" x 4" strike easier and do the mag blocks come in better / softer quality? I am set on using mag blocks and ferro rods to start my fires while incorporating vaso/cotton balls too. Are the products at firesteel.com the way to go. I want to get 3-4 setups to include a larger ferro rod, striker and rectangular mag block. I don't mind ape ing the extra money at about $30 for each set but wanted your opinion first. Sorry for the long post but thank you.
Some of the store branded fero "flint" rods are incredibly hard to spark. If the rods are greyish in color, they will be harder to strike. If they are black in color, they will be easier to strike.

They are all not the same. Also use a snapped off hack saw blade and the edge where it was snapped to scape and strike. Works a lot faster than a knife.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mBDYw4xL0Y
Old 01-29-2013, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicdotcom View Post
Some of the store branded fero "flint" rods are incredibly hard to spark. If the rods are greyish in color, they will be harder to strike. If they are black in color, they will be easier to strike.

They are all not the same. Also use a snapped off hack saw blade and the edge where it was snapped to scape and strike. Works a lot faster than a knife.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mBDYw4xL0Y
The ones that are hard to spark are like that because they have a very high magnesium content. You can actually scrape them like a magnesium block. They do throw larger and hotter sparks than the normal ones though.

It just takes a bit of a learning curve to use them, thats all.

The nice thing about those, is that you don't have to carry a separate magnesium source. They are great for areas where space is limited. for example, I want to stuff a ferro rod/magnesium rod in all my little knife sheaths. but there simply is not the room for both. But one of these high mag content ferro rods works perfectly.

You do have added versatility with the old school ferro rods and a separate magnesium rod though, and those will remain my main go to firestarters.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:01 AM
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Also, I should point out that a Magnesium rod, that is pure magnesium is much softer than a mag block. also, some mag blocks are softer than others. The original mag block from Doan, is the softest I have found so far.

You can google 99.9% pure magnesium, and find ANY cheap source BTW. You can even go to machine shops that work with magnesium and ask them if they would let you raid thier scrap barrels. Most will say yes, and you will get magnesium for free that way.
Old 01-29-2013, 11:13 PM
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You guys provided some great knowledge. Thanks.

After searching firesteel website quite a bit I placed an order. I got three sets of the following.

3/8x4" ferro rod; very easy to strike with huge sparks
3/8x5" mag rod; soft and easy to scrape with nice chunks and pigtails
Red palm striker; fits in glove clad hands great

They all have Pre drilled Holes for 24"paracord lanyard. One set for the wife, son and I.

Btw, the firesteel.com site is great Amd very quick and free shipping. Since you may ask I spent about $65 for the three sets. IMO, well worth it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tactical Retreat View Post
Ditch the magnesium for dryer lint. No annoying scraping and it weighs far less. Just pinch off a small piece and fluff it. Place it in your tinder bundle, and hit it with a spark. Very reliable flame.
I love the magnesium it's light burns HOT and never gets wet/in block form



Some of the rods are better quality than others but even a cheap one still works - it just takes a little more practice - thats not a bad thing

- look out for rods that are only coated with the spark matterial
Old 01-31-2013, 03:19 AM
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The Gobspark is a great fire steel. I also have one of those coleman rod/mag block fire starters. I found that trying to scrap that damn magnesium is a pain in the buns. Instead of using my knife I just took a drill to the magnesium block. I then collected all the shavings the drill bit made and put them in a small ziplock bag.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
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The Gobspark is a great fire steel. I also have one of those coleman rod/mag block fire starters. I found that trying to scrap that damn magnesium is a pain in the buns. Instead of using my knife I just took a drill to the magnesium block. I then collected all the shavings the drill bit made and put them in a small ziplock bag.
Are the drill bit shavings larger than what you would shave off ? That could cause a problem trying to light it with spark
Old 02-01-2013, 05:10 AM
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It depends on the type of drill bit you use. A smaller bit will make smaller shavings. you can also break the shavings up with your fingers once its in the bag. I also carry jute twine as tinder with me at all times. You can untwist the twine and fluff it up into a nest.
Old 02-01-2013, 03:24 PM
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firesteel.com !!!!!!!!!!

My 5 year old can scrape the mag easy it flakes really nice
Old 10-17-2015, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Blzn View Post
So, I took my 9year old son out to the garage and showed him my GHB and went through it's contents and explained what everything is used for. We got to the fire starting kit I have and being a boy, was fascinated by the fire starting gear, of course. I pulled out the vasoline/cotton ball kit and my cheapo Coleman mag block and firesteel. I demonstrated how it worked and he was fascinated. He wanted to give it a try so I showed him how to spread out the cotton ball to give it more surface area. Showed him hoe to scrape the mag block and then use a small metal object to strike the ferro rod attached to the side of the mag block. Well, as you cam imagine, the cheap Coleman mag block is hard for him to scrape efficiently as the ferro rod is too.

Question. Do tue bigger diameter ferro rods in the 3/8" x 4" strike easier and do the mag blocks come in better / softer quality? I am set on using mag blocks and ferro rods to start my fires while incorporating vaso/cotton balls too. Are the products at firesteel.com the way to go. I want to get 3-4 setups to include a larger ferro rod, striker and rectangular mag block. I don't mind ape ing the extra money at about $30 for each set but wanted your opinion first. Sorry for the long post but thank you.
I'm a big fan of the mag-bars from Survivor Firestarters. They're made of pure, soft magnesium, have a good size ferro-rod attached that doesn't easily fall off and they're available in sizes ranging from a small 2,000 strike model with only a key-ring through the end all the way up to a 20,000 strike model with either a wood handle, a black plastic handle or an orange plastic handle all three of which have a small signalling mirror, a button compass and a button thermometer inset into them. I personally use both the small 2,000 strike, no handle version and the larger 20,000 strike, orange plastic handled model, and I've been very happy with both of them.

TIP: You can use your mag-bar to make very good emergency fire starters that work in high winds, which are the bane of magnesium bars. Cut a 2"x 3" piece of duct tape, lay it down sticky side up and scrape a bunch of magnesium shavings onto it. Then all you have to do is roll it up and put in your fire kit, and you'll have emergency fire starters that burn at 5,400° F.

Survivor Firestarters
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